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Last minute touchdown lifts Duchesne over Layton Christian for 1A state title

Duchesne players celebrate their win against Layton Christian in the 1A football championship game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

Duchesne players celebrate their win against Layton Christian in the 1A football championship game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Stewart Stadium in Ogden. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)


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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

OGDEN — The third time really was the the charm Saturday for Duchesne's football team.

After losing to Milford in back-to-back championship games, the Eagles returned for a shot at the 1A title; but this time, Duchesne came out with an 18-14 win over Layton Christian at Stewart Stadium.

"I don't even know what just happened; that was so emotional back and forth," Duchesne coach Jerry Cowan said. "It was so emotional, so many up and downs and that's why the game is what it is."

The game was unpredictable, to say the least.

Five touchdowns were scored without an extra point, and Duchesne's starting quarterback rolled his ankle and was replaced by a backup, only to come in and play the final moments of the game while hobbling around on one foot.

Layton Christian opened the second half handing the ball off to Jessaia Giatras, who exploded for an 83-yard touchdown run that tied the game 12-12.

On the ensuing drive for Duchesne, quarterback Parker Crum took a snap and ran through the middle. While falling forward on the tackle, a defender landed on his leg and he tweaked his right ankle, which forced the team to replaced him with Draker Goodliffe.

After getting his ankle taped up, Crum attempted to run on the sidelines, but his injury was obvious and he could barely put any pressure on his leg.

But in a championship game with high stakes, the sophomore signal caller did everything to get back on the field, and for several minutes debated with his coaches on whether he should continue playing in the game.

"I told the coach, 'I want to win this.' I told my grandma before she passed away that I will win a state championship for her," Crum said. "It's been a dream ever since I was 6 years old to win a state championship; so when Cowan's like 'Are you good to go?' I said, 'Coach, I'm more than ready to go in.'"

With the game tied late in the fourth quarter and Crum limping around on the field, Duchesne had one last drive to put them over the top.

Duchesne’s Draker Goodliffe, left, receives the ball for a touchdown against Layton Christian in the 1A football championship game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.
Duchesne’s Draker Goodliffe, left, receives the ball for a touchdown against Layton Christian in the 1A football championship game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Stewart Stadium in Ogden. (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

With 1:33 remaining in the game, Crum connected with Goodliffe — who took snaps under center while his teammate was injured — for a 33-yard touchdown that was enough to lift Duchesne over Layton Christian.

"(Crum) wanted to go back in but he couldn't move. Unfortunately our offense requires the quarterback to move a little bit," Cowan said. "We got him back in on a few plays, and honestly, he made a couple plays for us along with the receiver Goodliffe. It was the difference in the game."

Crum finished the game throwing 8-of-16 for 117 yards and three touchdowns. Goodliffe was the recipient of two of the touchdowns and led all receivers with 81 yards on three receptions.

The offensive duo proved to be a tough matchup for Layton Christian Academy, but it was the Duchesne defense that came up with big stops when their opponent looked to reverse the momentum their way.

During the middle of the third quarter, Layton Christian Academy quarterback Zoram Petelo was chased back into his end zone and heaved a prayer down field that was picked off by Goodliffe.

Layton Christian Academy began the fourth quarter with the ball and were just outside of the red zone with a chance to score. On an award snap, Duchesne's Ethan Park came out of the middle with the ball and ran back to his own 3-yard line for a 70-yard fumble return.

On Layton Christian's last drive of the game, Cade Gines intercepted a long-ball that would give Duchesne a reason to breathe with 52 seconds left.

"We gave up the long run on the first play in the second half; they had every chance to beat us. We just bent, we didn't break," Cowan said. "It's sad to see either team lose because both teams played their butts off."

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